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ectobuilder
06-11-2011, 10:00 AM
I've always owned a DSLR. No matter where I brought that thing I was never asked to apply for permission to shoot.

But with the NEX-FS100, with it's DSLR Killer looks, I can't seem to go anywhere to shoot without people asking me for a filming permit.

Like yesterday I was at my local park and the park ranger came and asked if I had a permit to shoot film.

Also I went into Starbucks and the manager said that they don't allow media into their shop!

At the same time people with iphones and blackberrys are filming to their hearts content without any need for permit.

Anyone here find that the professional look of this camera is causing such headaches too? I think I may stick the pancake lens on it for incognito shooting as it makes it look smaller and less intrusive.

NOTE: In both instances I explained that this is really a 'consumer' level camera and that it just looked professional and in both instances they allowed me to shoot. My justification here is that it was using SD Cards instead of SxS cards or some expensive Sony SRW1 module LOLS!

Stephen Mick
06-11-2011, 10:03 AM
Permitting and permissions are part and parcel of being a professional. If you want to grow into filming projects with a larger scope, it's something you had better get used to.

I'm not saying that stealing shots with a DSLR is "wrong," but a professional camera is going to mean that, in many cases, you have to do things a professional is expected to do.

ectobuilder
06-11-2011, 10:06 AM
Permitting and permissions are part and parcel of being a professional. If you want to grow into filming projects with a larger scope, it's something you had better get used to.

I'm not saying that stealing shots with a DSLR is "wrong," but a professional camera is going to mean that, in many cases, you have to do things a professional is expected to do.

Under which circumstance is permission needed? If I am shooting for my own self then is permission needed? None of these shots are for corporate nor for profit. Just to test the camera's abilities.

My point is that people are stereotyping cameras. Why treat people with DSLR's differently then people with NXCAM's?

I know I know Society.

Stephen Mick
06-11-2011, 10:12 AM
Technically, you should have permission for filming on any public or private property that you do not own or control. The DSLRs work for "incognito" shooting because they are so inconspicuous. That's how you're able to get away with more. But generally, the moment you place a tripod and pull out a professional mic, you attract attention, deservedly so.

It's not about "stereotyping." The FS-100 is a professional video camera, and will likely attract the appropriate attention.

cheezweezl
06-11-2011, 11:30 AM
It's weird. Nobody cares if you take a photo in a mall. But if you want to take 24 photos per second, security is gonna be all over you in a heartbeat. Kinda lame.

I agree with permits for commercial projects to keep things safe and to protect property owners rights. But for just me and a camera, tripod or not, c'mon...

DOSMedia
06-11-2011, 11:35 AM
Be careful on forest service land. Those guys are the biggest stiffs about filming on the forest service land, which actually makes absolutely no sense since we pay for the land through taxes and such.

Its something like a 5k fine for not having a permit (although I only know one person that actually gets the permit).

Doctor Wu
06-11-2011, 11:38 AM
True, you have to get permits to work with peace of mind and to bring in a good crew to get the job done right.

But, sometimes it's just darn near impossible to get a permit for some locations, or time does not allow it. Even bigger productions like "Black Swan" needed to cheat a few shots in the subway, and "Lost in Translation" stole shots on Tokyo streets with a minimul crew.

This is why for me, DSLRs like the GH2 still have a place. And why I hope they continue to improve as video imagers.

dustylense
06-11-2011, 11:42 AM
welcome to the new police state. It's not just big cameras. Watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iMr76atjUA
But S. Mick is right. Big tripods, sliders, external mics, and matte boxes tend to draw the attention. Go and get the permit, then when approached by an officer who probably can't really give you the citation order, pull out your permit and ask him to move because he's in your shot.

Postmaster
06-11-2011, 12:06 PM
But if you want to take 24 photos per second, security is gonna be all over you in a heartbeat.

But when you do 30FPS with an iPhone nobody cares. Now THATīS wired.

Check this out: the photographers bill of rights: http://www.krages.com/ThePhotographersRight.pdf


Frank

Kraut69
06-11-2011, 12:33 PM
If read all the laws, you probably wouldn't want to buy a video camera. You can't use it legally anywhere without written permission or a permit. Its against the law to take a video of anything that is recognizable, unless you have permission of the owner. It's almost as controlled as carrying a gun. The only place I feel safe is doing something on my own property, or doing a wedding for someone.

ectobuilder
06-11-2011, 01:39 PM
So how do news organizations do it?

They have to do so many news reports in one day. How does that work? Do they have a year's worth of permits stocked up like bus tickets?

ectobuilder
06-11-2011, 01:44 PM
welcome to the new police state. It's not just big cameras. Watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iMr76atjUA
But S. Mick is right. Big tripods, sliders, external mics, and matte boxes tend to draw the attention. Go and get the permit, then when approached by an officer who probably can't really give you the citation order, pull out your permit and ask him to move because he's in your shot.

So the legal grounds was the "Patriot Act" (as cited by the officer in the video).

The Patriot Act from what I know is pretty much the modern day version of Marshall Law.

I don't live in America, but I noticed the video was uploaded in 2011. What is the state of the Patriot Act today?

ectobuilder
06-11-2011, 01:46 PM
And I liked the way law enforcement always approaches the camera operator, FROM THE SIDE! Because they too don't want to be filmed.

They however don't understand acoustics as many of our mics are omni-directional or cardioid meaning they can capture a wide dispersion area of sound.

Duke M.
06-11-2011, 02:55 PM
Try shooting near the outside of a state building in down town LA. Homeland security will roll up on you in a hurry.

Part of getting a permit in many cities is you have to have the area posted with signs a week or 48 hours ahead of time. This lets the cops know and the neighbors don't complain as much if they are prepared and know there is a permit.

Be prepared for idiots that will try to claim you damaged there lawn or fence when no one went near it and it was obviously termites.

Most of Orange County is a lot more relaxed. We had the police approach us in one park. We had a movie sign up, but still they wanted to make sure the sci-fi looking guns were props and then left us alone.

Now you know why so many movies are shot in studios. And even big budget pictures are often shot in real people's homes.

Once you get into more suburban areas it gets easier. I always get a property owner's release if I can though. Small towns are often happy to have you because you bring business and recognition to the town.

Mark Williams
06-11-2011, 03:25 PM
Just got back today from a shoot for fun at the Forest Service operated Ocoee Whitewater Center in TN. I was using a large tripod and HPX170. Saw and chatted with several Rangers. Just said I was shooting video for fun. There was no problem.

DOSMedia
06-11-2011, 03:52 PM
The best part about not having permits to shoot though is running into people like this...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jhRl496zoU

Paul Hudson
06-11-2011, 03:56 PM
If you plan on using anything you shoot in anything for profit you had better have a permit or you will very well find yourself in court. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure especially when that cure is handed out through the legal system.

keylight
06-11-2011, 03:58 PM
welcome to the new police state. It's not just big cameras. Watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iMr76atjUA
But S. Mick is right. Big tripods, sliders, external mics, and matte boxes tend to draw the attention. Go and get the permit, then when approached by an officer who probably can't really give you the citation order, pull out your permit and ask him to move because he's in your shot.

Ugh. How is "welcome to the new police state" at all helpful, relevant, or even true?

When filming on private property, the owner of the property dictates whether or not you can film on said property, not the state. Starbucks isn't publicly owned last time I checked.

When filming on public lands (like in National Parks) then you and I are the owners. I have NEVER been stopped when it's me, my DSLR, and my tripod. And I've never seen anyone else stopped.

BUT.... When you bring out larger gear and a crew, then you're into territory where your activities can impact other people's enjoyment of the park. There are several purposes for requiring a permit for this kind of shooting, but the primary purpose to make sure YOUR needs can be accommodated while also making sure the needs of the rest of the public are also being met. And when you're shooting for profit, paying a small fee helps to maintain the very place you found so compelling as to cause you to go through the trouble and expense of shooting it in the first place. So really, what's the problem?

As for the video you linked to, they clearly have a problem in Baltimore with harassing people who are not interfering with anyone. Thanks for that link.


Just got back today from a shoot for fun at the Forest Service operated Ocoee Whitewater Center in TN. I was using a large tripod and HPX170. Saw and chatted with several Rangers. Just said I was shooting video for fun. There was no problem.

Here's a case in point:

You can't use it legally anywhere without written permission or a permit. Its against the law to take a video of anything that is recognizable, unless you have permission of the owner. It's almost as controlled as carrying a gun. The only place I feel safe is doing something on my own property, or doing a wedding for someone.

You're wrong about this. If you shoot something that is recognizable and is private property, and you turn around and make a profit off of it, then the owner has a right to sue you. That's a whole lot different from saying it's illegal.


So how do news organizations do it?

They have to do so many news reports in one day. How does that work? Do they have a year's worth of permits stocked up like bus tickets?

No. This is where the 1st amendment comes into play. So many people mis-understand the first amendment..... Oh, and news media can always be asked to leave private property. If they, they are trespassing same as anyone else.



If you plan on using anything you shoot in anything for profit you had better have a permit or you very well find yourself in court. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure especially when than cure is handed out through the legal system.

+1

dustylense
06-11-2011, 05:14 PM
[QUOTE=keylight;2360488]Ugh. How is "welcome to the new police state" at all helpful, relevant, or even true?

Try and take your bare camera, af100, fs100, hvx200, hell even a DV cam and put it on some sticks at a park, beach, sidewalk, all sorts of places just to shoot some "hobby" footage. Chances are you are going to be stopped by cops or security. I was hassled with a Gh2 on my travel carbon fiber sticks with a small fluid head on a state park filming a pond and a tree. Imagine had I had my AF100 and such. The officer even threatened to take my camera if I refused to "leave", not stop filming, but leave as in I'm not welcome to enjoy the park anymore because I have a camera.
So yes, POLICE STATE! It exists. Especially if on tripod. And it's getting harder to "video" tape/record in all sorts of public arenas. Did you not watch that video? Exact treatment I got at a PUBLIC PARK taking images for fun.
Of course get a permit if in production. But we're talking about footage with your Prosumer device in public domain.

And, in fact, Starbucks is publicly owned.

dustylense
06-11-2011, 05:17 PM
Just got back today from a shoot for fun at the Forest Service operated Ocoee Whitewater Center in TN. I was using a large tripod and HPX170. Saw and chatted with several Rangers. Just said I was shooting video for fun. There was no problem.
But they approached you didn't they? How would it have been for ya if you had a model, like a wife or girlfriend? Even for fun that would have possibly changed the outcome.

keylight
06-11-2011, 05:29 PM
Try and take your bare camera, af100, fs100, hvx200, hell even a DV cam and put it on some sticks at a park, beach, sidewalk, all sorts of places just to shoot some "hobby" footage. Chances are you are going to be stopped by cops or security.
I've done this with smaller cameras (like the size of an hvx200) without any problems. Done this with my GH2 as well. On a tripod (Gitzo carbon fiber with a small fluid head). Would I do this with a larger ENG style camera and tripod? Maybe. But I wouldn't complain if I was stopped and told I needed a permit.


I was hassled with a Gh2 on my travel carbon fiber sticks with a small fluid head on a state park filming a pond and a tree. Imagine had I had my AF100 and such. The officer even threatened to take my camera if I refused to "leave", not stop filming, but leave as in I'm not welcome to enjoy the park anymore because I have a camera.What state park was that in?


So yes, POLICE STATE! It exists. Especially if on tripod. And it's getting harder to "video" tape/record in all sorts of public arenas. Did you not watch that video? Exact treatment I got at a PUBLIC PARK taking images for fun.
Of course get a permit if in production. But we're talking about footage with your Prosumer device in public domain.
And, in fact, Starbucks is publicly owned.LOL. Nope. It's privately owned. Don't confuse thousands (millions?) of stockholders with it being a publicly owned company. It's shares are publicly traded on the stock exchange, but it is most certainly a privately owned company - owned by all of the stockholders.

olindacat
06-11-2011, 05:29 PM
welcome to the new police state. It's not just big cameras. Watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_imr76atjua
but s. Mick is right. Big tripods, sliders, external mics, and matte boxes tend to draw the attention. Go and get the permit, then when approached by an officer who probably can't really give you the citation order, pull out your permit and ask him to move because he's in your shot.

lol

dustylense
06-11-2011, 05:33 PM
lol
OK, enjoy getting a permit most times you take out that fs100 just to shoot for "fun" or for yourself.

keylight
06-11-2011, 05:57 PM
OK, enjoy getting a permit most times you take out that fs100 just to shoot for "fun" or for yourself.

FYI....


Commercial Filming and Still Photography Permits (http://www.nps.gov/applications/digest/permits.cfm?urlarea=permits) Lands of the United States were set aside by Congress, Executive or otherwise acquired in order to conserve and protect areas of untold beauty and grandeur, historical importance, and uniqueness for future generations. This tradition started with explorers who traveled with paint and canvas or primitive photo apparatus before the areas were designated as a national park. The National Park Service permits commercial filming and still photography when it is consistent with the park’s mission and will not harm the resource or interfere with the visitor experience.

When is a permit needed?

All commercial filming activities taking place within a unit of the National Park system require a permit. Commercial filming includes capturing a moving image on film and video as well as sound recordings.

Still photographers require a permit when


the activity takes place at location(s) where or when members of the public are generally not allowed; or
the activity uses model(s), sets(s), or prop(s) that are not a part of the location’s natural or cultural resources or administrative facilities; or
Park would incur additional administrative costs to monitor the activity.

Note that this is about "Commercial Filming" not non-commercial, private use filming. And note that commerical photography is okay WITHOUT a permit, unless one of those 3 things applies (doing those things could impinge on other people's right to enjoy and use the park).

Like I said before, the main purpose of requiring a permit is so that you and your family can enjoy a place without a bunch of people coming along to shoot something and get in the way of your enjoyment. Sure it's an inconvenience when you've got a job to shoot. But it's a bigger inconvenience for everyone else.....

If it's just you, and you're shooting for fun, then it isn't commercial and you don't need a permit. Someone comes up and asks you what you're doing - tell them the truth: "I just got a new camera and I'm testing it out. This isn't anything commercial." Or "I'm on vacation. Just shooting the beautiful scenery."

jetswing
06-11-2011, 06:00 PM
Whether you're shooting for fun or profit is a moot point. It's the perception of the person who has the power to kick you out or stop you from filming that counts. If he/she thinks you're a pro, that's what counts. IF you're shooting in a place where you think you might get harassed, don't be shooting with a big ol fancy rig.

NVentive
06-11-2011, 06:24 PM
Several years ago, a friend of mine agreed to do a bit part in a little film school project. One of his shots required him to walk out of a store with a (plastic) gun. During one of his takes, they ran out of film and the loader had trouble changing the mag on the camera across the street. My friend just waited, leaned up against a light pole, with the toy gun in his hand. The students hadn't told the cops they were shooting, and even though the camera was in plain site, someone driving by didn't see it and called 911. The Police pulled up in force, and were not amused at what they found. From their perspective, it would have been very easy for one of their guys to shoot an innocent kid.
As for store owners, they are just plain scared. For all they know, an undocumented shooter is doing something that could come back to haunt them in a bad way someday. People shooting video with iPhones....yeah, there's not much they can do about that, and most people don't care. People with 'real' cameras can make store patrons uncomfortable, or they can accidentally shoot something that could get a franchise owner in trouble with their district managers. There have been so many video bushwhackings lately, everyone is a bit jumpy. I would be interested to learn how the 'Supper-Size Me' guy did it.
When we needed to shoot in a coffee shop recently, we just bit the bullet and rented the place for the morning. Ours is an experimental project, with no revenue stream in sight, but we needed that location so we just swallowed hard and wrote the check.

Mark Williams
06-11-2011, 06:27 PM
"But they approached you didn't they? How would it have been for ya if you had a model, like a wife or girlfriend? Even for fun that would have possibly changed the outcome. "

They didn't approach me. I approached them.

AGMedia
06-11-2011, 07:11 PM
Essentially, keylight is correct in everything he/she wrote.

FelixGER
06-11-2011, 07:23 PM
I also had this problem when filming in a mall with my small "dslr" (GH2). A mall security guy went completely berserk....we laughed at him and his blood pressure seemed to cause even more brain damage^^

artlukm
06-11-2011, 07:30 PM
If read all the laws, you probably wouldn't want to buy a video camera. You can't use it legally anywhere without written permission or a permit. Its against the law to take a video of anything that is recognizable, unless you have permission of the owner. It's almost as controlled as carrying a gun. The only place I feel safe is doing something on my own property, or doing a wedding for someone.

The hysteria and fear mongering in this thread is really over the top. Some of you guys talk like you're experts yet seem to have a very sophomoric understanding of the legal issues at play here. This could be really misleading to novices who might randomly come across this thread.

The first thing anyone responding to this thread should ask is where does ectobuilder live? How can you respond to the question without knowing this? Laws vary from country to country, and even state to state (to some extent). So, ectobuilder, where do you live?

The second question that needs to be answered is what type of material are you shooting? It makes a HUGE difference. Is it fiction/staged (a film or a commercial)? Are you photographing news or documenting real events or places?

My knowledge is primarily limited to U.S. and Canadian law. Here are some thoughts:

Your Property
> You can shoot anything on your property - fiction, a commercial, news, documentary.
> You can shoot things plainly visible from your property.
> If your neighbors house (or some other building) is visible, that's generally ok, if those things would normally be visible to a person standing there.
> Sticking your camera over a fence and into your neighbor's property is NOT ok, unless you are documenting a serious crime (someone getting beaten) or a news event (such as a fire).
> Using a long lens to see someone else's private property in a manner that wouldn't normally be visible could be an invasion of their privacy (i.e. using a long lens to see into someone's window).

Public Property
> If you're shooting fiction (a film or a commercial), there is often a need for permits to shoot on public property.
> You can shoot news or documentary footage on public property generally without issue. This includes simply "documenting" your surroundings. I haven't heard of a state or province that restricts this.
> If you're interfering with the flow of pedestrians or traffic, the police can probably ask you to change what you're doing.
> It's ok for private property to appear in the background of what you're shooting.
> It's also generally ok to take pictures of other people's property FROM public property, with some limitations. Similar to the example a few lines up, standing on public property and sticking your camera over a fence to see into someone's private property is generally NOT ok.
> Furthermore, standing on public property and taking a picture of something on private property that wouldn't normally be visible could also be a violation of the property owner's rights. Example: using a long lens to peer into private property while standing on public property. Not a good idea.

Parks
> It depends if the park has controlled access or is fully accessible to anyone.
> If the park has security and you need permission to enter, then there might also be rules about the type of photos or video you can shoot.

I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. Please check your local laws and consult a lawyer when in doubt. There are some people on this forum whose advice you should definitely NOT take.

keylight
06-11-2011, 08:49 PM
I also had this problem when filming in a mall with my small "dslr" (GH2). A mall security guy went completely berserk....we laughed at him and his blood pressure seemed to cause even more brain damage^^

Well, a mall is private property. Lots of free speech court cases about how malls have essentially replaced very public town squares and how malls should be considered de facto public places. Most end up being decided against free speech and in favor of the "malls as private property" view. Although the tide could be turning slightly on this.... For those interested, here's a useful link: http://informant.kalwnews.org/2010/11/how-shopping-malls-became-the-front-lines-of-free-speech/

keylight
06-11-2011, 08:58 PM
The hysteria and fear mongering in this thread is really over the top.


Good stuff in your post.

And as my signature now says, I am a lawyer, but my agreement with your post is NOT legal advice.:D

Crafters of Light
06-11-2011, 09:32 PM
I go by the belief that just because a mall, store, coffee-shop, gas station, etc. are open to the public does not make these private establishments public property.
So you fall and hurt yourself in one of these places. Being a litigious society do you sue the public? No, you go after the private property owner.

cheezweezl
06-11-2011, 10:58 PM
I was shooting on the sidewalk a few days ago. It was in a tourist area in front of a mall. I was shooting with the fs100 on a monopod. A security guard from the mall came over and told me I couldnt use my monopod and that I could only shoot handheld. I asked why and he said that it was a trip hazard for pedestrians. I said "so as long as I don't have any gear on the ground, I'm all good?" he replied, yes. So I said thanks, picked up the monopod off the sidewalk and rested it on my foot. I kept shooting. He walked away. I had a chuckle.

ectobuilder
06-11-2011, 11:08 PM
I was shooting on the sidewalk a few days ago. It was in a tourist area in front of a mall. I was shooting with the fs100 on a monopod. A security guard from the mall came over and told me I couldnt use my monopod and that I could only shoot handheld. I asked why and he said that it was a trip hazard for pedestrians. I said "so as long as I don't have any gear on the ground, I'm all good?" he replied, yes. So I said thanks, picked up the monopod off the sidewalk and rested it on my foot. I kept shooting. He walked away. I had a chuckle.

Do what do, Steadicam! LOL

ectobuilder
06-11-2011, 11:15 PM
The hysteria and fear mongering in this thread is really over the top. Some of you guys talk like you're experts yet seem to have a very sophomoric understanding of the legal issues at play here. This could be really misleading to novices who might randomly come across this thread.

The first thing anyone responding to this thread should ask is where does ectobuilder live? How can you respond to the question without knowing this? Laws vary from country to country, and even state to state (to some extent). So, ectobuilder, where do you live?

The second question that needs to be answered is what type of material are you shooting? It makes a HUGE difference. Is it fiction/staged (a film or a commercial)? Are you photographing news or documenting real events or places?

My knowledge is primarily limited to U.S. and Canadian law. Here are some thoughts:

Your Property
> You can shoot anything on your property - fiction, a commercial, news, documentary.
> You can shoot things plainly visible from your property.
> If your neighbors house (or some other building) is visible, that's generally ok, if those things would normally be visible to a person standing there.
> Sticking your camera over a fence and into your neighbor's property is NOT ok, unless you are documenting a serious crime (someone getting beaten) or a news event (such as a fire).
> Using a long lens to see someone else's private property in a manner that wouldn't normally be visible could be an invasion of their privacy (i.e. using a long lens to see into someone's window).

Public Property
> If you're shooting fiction (a film or a commercial), there is often a need for permits to shoot on public property.
> You can shoot news or documentary footage on public property generally without issue. This includes simply "documenting" your surroundings. I haven't heard of a state or province that restricts this.
> If you're interfering with the flow of pedestrians or traffic, the police can probably ask you to change what you're doing.
> It's ok for private property to appear in the background of what you're shooting.
> It's also generally ok to take pictures of other people's property FROM public property, with some limitations. Similar to the example a few lines up, standing on public property and sticking your camera over a fence to see into someone's private property is generally NOT ok.
> Furthermore, standing on public property and taking a picture of something on private property that wouldn't normally be visible could also be a violation of the property owner's rights. Example: using a long lens to peer into private property while standing on public property. Not a good idea.

Parks
> It depends if the park has controlled access or is fully accessible to anyone.
> If the park has security and you need permission to enter, then there might also be rules about the type of photos or video you can shoot.

I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. Please check your local laws and consult a lawyer when in doubt. There are some people on this forum whose advice you should definitely NOT take.

Canada. I was shooting for personal use, just testing out the dynamic range of the FS100.

I'm heading to City Hall this Wednesday to clarify the bylaws here. Will update soon.

ectobuilder
06-11-2011, 11:20 PM
The hysteria and fear mongering in this thread is really over the top. Some of you guys talk like you're experts yet seem to have a very sophomoric understanding of the legal issues at play here. This could be really misleading to novices who might randomly come across this thread.

The first thing anyone responding to this thread should ask is where does ectobuilder live? How can you respond to the question without knowing this? Laws vary from country to country, and even state to state (to some extent). So, ectobuilder, where do you live?

The second question that needs to be answered is what type of material are you shooting? It makes a HUGE difference. Is it fiction/staged (a film or a commercial)? Are you photographing news or documenting real events or places?

My knowledge is primarily limited to U.S. and Canadian law. Here are some thoughts:

Your Property
> You can shoot anything on your property - fiction, a commercial, news, documentary.
> You can shoot things plainly visible from your property.
> If your neighbors house (or some other building) is visible, that's generally ok, if those things would normally be visible to a person standing there.
> Sticking your camera over a fence and into your neighbor's property is NOT ok, unless you are documenting a serious crime (someone getting beaten) or a news event (such as a fire).
> Using a long lens to see someone else's private property in a manner that wouldn't normally be visible could be an invasion of their privacy (i.e. using a long lens to see into someone's window).

Public Property
> If you're shooting fiction (a film or a commercial), there is often a need for permits to shoot on public property.
> You can shoot news or documentary footage on public property generally without issue. This includes simply "documenting" your surroundings. I haven't heard of a state or province that restricts this.
> If you're interfering with the flow of pedestrians or traffic, the police can probably ask you to change what you're doing.
> It's ok for private property to appear in the background of what you're shooting.
> It's also generally ok to take pictures of other people's property FROM public property, with some limitations. Similar to the example a few lines up, standing on public property and sticking your camera over a fence to see into someone's private property is generally NOT ok.
> Furthermore, standing on public property and taking a picture of something on private property that wouldn't normally be visible could also be a violation of the property owner's rights. Example: using a long lens to peer into private property while standing on public property. Not a good idea.

Parks
> It depends if the park has controlled access or is fully accessible to anyone.
> If the park has security and you need permission to enter, then there might also be rules about the type of photos or video you can shoot.

I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. Please check your local laws and consult a lawyer when in doubt. There are some people on this forum whose advice you should definitely NOT take.

As soon as I find out what laws I am up against here in Canada, I will develop a way to avoid any resistance. Such as perhaps wearing uniforms with the words "NEWS" on it so as to portray that we are a news organization (i.e. not for commercial fictional use).

Anyways will update this week when I talk to my City Hall...

artlukm
06-11-2011, 11:40 PM
As soon as I find out what laws I am up against here in Canada, I will develop a way to avoid any resistance. Such as perhaps wearing uniforms with the words "NEWS" on it so as to portray that we are a news organization (i.e. not for commercial fictional use).

Anyways will update this week when I talk to my City Hall...

I work in the U.S. and Canada regularly. I actually live in Ontario. If anything, the laws here are simpler than in the U.S. If you're on public property doing any type of news/documentary work, I am 99.9% sure you do not need any kind of permit in any province or city. If you're blocking a sidewalk or bothering people, the police might ask you to move along at some point. Obviously don't interfere with traffic or stand anywhere that you can't legally stand to begin with.

Even when it comes to filming police, it's legal. (This is also the case in most states, but some states place restrictions on recording police.) Again, use common sense. I've taped and photographed police before without issue. One time I recorded footage of dozens of police and bystanders outside of a murder scene (the footage aired on local tv). Another time I snapped some stills of an Emergency Task Force dude carrying an assault rifle walking down the sidewalk. He didn't so much as flinch (phew! :grin:).

If you're doing fiction or shooting a commercial, pretty much any city will require you to have a permit. Like many city bylaws, there is likely some degree of leniency. Looking into the bylaws sounds like a good idea.

Kevin Marshall
06-11-2011, 11:44 PM
[...] they clearly have a problem in Baltimore with harassing people who are not interfering with anyone. Thanks for that link.
Yeah. Maryland - especially Baltimore City - has been passing stricter photo/video laws lately, and courts have sided with law enforcement in many of these cases. The precedent being set in the state is that it is illegal to record a police officer without their expressed consent, even in public places where there is normally no expectation of privacy.

Luckily, out in the more rural areas, no one really cares.

keylight
06-12-2011, 02:14 AM
Yeah. Maryland - especially Baltimore City - has been passing stricter photo/video laws lately, and courts have sided with law enforcement in many of these cases. The precedent being set in the state is that it is illegal to record a police officer without their expressed consent, even in public places where there is normally no expectation of privacy.

Luckily, out in the more rural areas, no one really cares.

The laws they tend to cite in these instances are two party consent laws. In about 1/5th of U.S. states, the law requires a party being recorded to give permission. Maryland (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telephone_recording_laws#United_States) appears to be one of those states. In most U.S. states the law is for single party consent. These laws were enacted originally to prevent the unknown recording of another person. Standing on the street out in the open and filming a cop is hardly a case where the other party doesn't know they are being recorded. But the letter of the law may require that they actually give permission.

There's an effort underway (in several places) to do away with this kind of reading/use of the law.

connectivitygroup
06-12-2011, 07:09 AM
I recently had a shoot in Georgetown DC and pulled a permit since I was shooting on Friday night and could not afford to reshoot or move locations. I figured the $180 was well worth it. It was a simple and painless process.

The shoot was one guy walking with a body cam rig, ring light and battery pack down the packed streets at 10pm. Besides being harassed by drunks we never once got asked for our permit. We even parked right in front of a bunch of secret service waiting outside of a restaurant.

We needed to shoot a short scene the following night that we did in Frederick MD in a parking garage (BTW permitting in Frederick is a pain) it was like 15min of shooting but we got stopped by the cops and asked what we were doing. They let us keep shooting but I guess the point is when you have a permit you may not need it and if you don't you will.

In my opinion it is well worth the effort and money to do it properly and then all of your bases are covered.

Crafters of Light
06-12-2011, 08:21 AM
Another side to the athorities. They are not all bad.

Living in Portland Oregon area, I have expereinced a very different contact with the authorities. I am out by myself many times capturing sights and sounds of the area.

We have many bridges crossing the Willamette River the splits Portland into east side and west side. I have been out videoing these bridges in the evening hours capturing them as they light up. I make sure I am out of the way of public traffic and access. I have had the city police monitor me from a distance with direct contact only one time. We chatted about the weather what bridges I had captured already and which ones I was headed to next. He suggested a vantage point that might provide a good shot, wished me a good evening and went on his way. No mention of a permit.

We have a small mounted division and I came accross two them one evening shooting some river scenes. We got to chatting and started drawing a crowd. People asking all sorts of questions about the horses. After wishing me a good evening they were kind enough to take the horses a few yards down the walk with the crowd so that I could go back to recording without the mob around.

I am out 5-8 times a month in early morning or evening recording sunrises or sunsets, morning mists across fields of bailed hay, horses and cows in silhouette on the pastures, great rural settings. I always make sure my truck is off the road so as not to cause any traffic issues.
Three times in the last two months I have had state or county sheriff's stop to check on me. All three times they were told there was an abandoned or stalled vehicle off the side of the road by someone passing by. After asking me if I was okay and chatting about what I was doing there, all in a very friendly manner, they wished me a good day and drove on. One even offered to bring me back some coffee as he was going to stop at a small coffee shop just up the road.

AGMedia
06-12-2011, 09:30 AM
Yeah. Maryland - especially Baltimore City - has been passing stricter photo/video laws lately, and courts have sided with law enforcement in many of these cases. The precedent being set in the state is that it is illegal to record a police officer without their expressed consent, even in public places where there is normally no expectation of privacy.

Luckily, out in the more rural areas, no one really cares.

I interviewed the Baltimore City Police Chief for a documentary I'm producing a few weeks back. Had I known anything about this issue I would have complained to him directly.

After reading your report I can only smile -- because the Baltimore City Police treated me like royalty -- at the door parking, escort, tour, smiles, friendliness, cooperation -- I walked away thinking that was the nicest police department in America.

thxdave
06-12-2011, 10:48 AM
As soon as I find out what laws I am up against here in Canada, I will develop a way to avoid any resistance. Such as perhaps wearing uniforms with the words "NEWS" on it so as to portray that we are a news organization (i.e. not for commercial fictional use).

Anyways will update this week when I talk to my City Hall...

As a former photojournalist, I cannot express how much that comment disgusts me. It's hard enough these days to maintain any degree of trust with the general public, and now you want to come along and pretend to be an accredited journalist. Please tell me you were kidding.
dave

bclighting
06-12-2011, 12:53 PM
I think I have a solution to all of this! Just find a good looking couple and have them dress up as a bride and groom. Then go shoot anywhere you would like and I would bet you will never get harassed. I shoot weddings all over Harrisburg in and around the state capital building and have never had a single issue. It is amazing what you can do when you are shooting a happy couple after their wedding. Cops may watch but 9.9 times out of 10 they are checking out the hot bridesmaids.

Richard Allen Crook
06-12-2011, 02:12 PM
One of the perks of living in Texas...specifically Dallas...is that you can shoot anything anywhere in public areas as long as you aren't blocking traffic.

Crafters of Light
06-12-2011, 02:57 PM
to some respects I vote that the U.S. grow up to be like Texas someday soon.

keylight
06-12-2011, 03:16 PM
to some respects I vote that the U.S. grow up to be like Texas someday soon.

Ugh. NO! I live in TX. It's got some good and a whole lot of bad.

Richard Allen Crook
06-12-2011, 03:49 PM
to some respects I vote that the U.S. grow up to be like Texas someday soon.

I didn't say it was the best state in the US...far from it in my opinion. However, in terms of shooting without permits, it's great. But there's a whole lot of stupid around here too.

Also Ive studied entertainment law and the laws are very much determined by the states while permits are managed by the cities. Each state is different. Just look at your city and state's film commission websites to determine when you need a permit or not.

As far as being sued, the problem is with ANY state, is anyone can sue anyone for any reason...regardless of validity. Permits tend to thwart such lawsuits because they give you a degree of validity. But they cannot protect you from the repercussions of shooting someone's likeness without their permission or stepping onto private property to get a particular shot.

shuenwang
05-31-2013, 10:10 PM
One of the perks of living in Texas...specifically Dallas...is that you can shoot anything anywhere in public areas as long as you aren't blocking traffic.

Is this true? I remember reading some laws that you can't film public property (particularly landmarks) without a permit.

alaskacameradude
06-01-2013, 11:35 AM
When filming on public lands (like in National Parks) then you and I are the owners. I have NEVER been stopped when it's me, my DSLR, and my tripod. And I've never seen anyone else stopped.

BUT.... When you bring out larger gear and a crew, then you're into territory where your activities can impact other people's enjoyment of the park. There are several purposes for requiring a permit for this kind of shooting, but the primary purpose to make sure YOUR needs can be accommodated while also making sure the needs of the rest of the public are also being met. And when you're shooting for profit, paying a small fee helps to maintain the very place you found so compelling as to cause you to go through the trouble and expense of shooting it in the first place. So really, what's the problem?





I live in Alaska where over 90 percent of the land is 'non private' (think federal and state parks).
I get stopped plenty when shooting just with my FS100, no matte box, slider or anything special.
Here is the problem. Still photographers can shoot for profit in national parks without paying a
a fee. Video guys cannot. Now in the past, that was because video crews had lights, boom mics
with a sound op, and basically just a big footprint. Actually it was because the video folks didnt
have an effective lobby like the still folks did, but I digress. It makes no sense that I cannot film
with my FS100 in the same place someone else is snapping pics to make into a calendar to sell.
For that matter, it's ok to snap pics with a 5d, but make one little move (flip it into video
mode) and you are now breaking the law if you don't have a permit. I have talked with
the forest service about it and they agree it is a silly, outdated law now that DSLRs can shoot video.
The issue is that many of us go into parks to shoot things 'for personal enjoyment' with no
particular commercial purpose. Small scale, just camera and maybe a lightweight tripod.
In fact if you tell the rangers or forest service people you are filming for fun, even with
the FS100 they will tell you to have fun. But if you decide later to make a DVD out of stuff
you shot and try to sell it to the tourists, you are breaking the law. However you can
legally take photos for profit. Not sure what happens if you make a timelapse with
a still camera as it is technically a bunch of still photographs. I wonder if I can legally
shoot time lapses at 1fps (it's technically a photo a second) with my FS100?? Anyways,
our Alaska congressman has been trying to pass a law to allow a small video camera
operator the same freedoms as a small still photog but it has been killed every year for a few
years now. I'd like to see it passed so we could have equal rights as the still guys have.

joker454
06-01-2013, 12:01 PM
I've filmed girls at a local state park here in Los Angeles with my VG900+tripod+mic right next to the park Ranger while he sat in his car and he didn't seem to care. I didn't even realize a permit was required because the paparazzi film in public just about anywhere all the time, hence I thought it was ok as long as you aren't on private property.

aly324
06-01-2013, 01:55 PM
I live in Alaska where over 90 percent of the land is 'non private' (think federal and state parks).
I get stopped plenty when shooting just with my FS100, no matte box, slider or anything special.
Here is the problem. Still photographers can shoot for profit in national parks without paying a
a fee. Video guys cannot. Now in the past, that was because video crews had lights, boom mics
with a sound op, and basically just a big footprint. Actually it was because the video folks didnt
have an effective lobby like the still folks did, but I digress. It makes no sense that I cannot film
with my FS100 in the same place someone else is snapping pics to make into a calendar to sell.
For that matter, it's ok to snap pics with a 5d, but make one little move (flip it into video
mode) and you are now breaking the law if you don't have a permit. I have talked with
the forest service about it and they agree it is a silly, outdated law now that DSLRs can shoot video.
The issue is that many of us go into parks to shoot things 'for personal enjoyment' with no
particular commercial purpose. Small scale, just camera and maybe a lightweight tripod.
In fact if you tell the rangers or forest service people you are filming for fun, even with
the FS100 they will tell you to have fun. But if you decide later to make a DVD out of stuff
you shot and try to sell it to the tourists, you are breaking the law. However you can
legally take photos for profit. Not sure what happens if you make a timelapse with
a still camera as it is technically a bunch of still photographs. I wonder if I can legally
shoot time lapses at 1fps (it's technically a photo a second) with my FS100?? Anyways,
our Alaska congressman has been trying to pass a law to allow a small video camera
operator the same freedoms as a small still photog but it has been killed every year for a few
years now. I'd like to see it passed so we could have equal rights as the still guys have.

i'm surprised people can even tell that your fs100 is a video camera. i assume it's because you have a mic mounted on it?

i sometimes shoot the fs100 with binaural mics (worn like headphones), and pretty much everyone thinks it's a "serious" still camera and even poses for photos for me.

the inconspicuousness is something i love about the fs100 (vs the fs700, which is just a bit too big and heavy that it's no longer in the same category).

alaskacameradude
06-01-2013, 03:10 PM
i'm surprised people can even tell that your fs100 is a video camera. i assume it's because you have a mic mounted on it?

i sometimes shoot the fs100 with binaural mics (worn like headphones), and pretty much everyone thinks it's a "serious" still camera and even poses for photos for me.

the inconspicuousness is something i love about the fs100 (vs the fs700, which is just a bit too big and heavy that it's no longer in the same category).

They don't ALWAYS stop me. If I strip down the FS100 and shoot with a little prime
people do tend to think its a serious stills camera. When I use the 28-105 F2.8 lens on
it, it looks like a serious video cam.....and that is a great lens for shooting outdoors so
I use it a lot. And, yes I usually have some kind of shotgun mic for nat sound on it.
I was just saying, the current law is F'd up when still guys don't need a permit for
commercial activity but video guys do. In many cases the cameras are the same or very
similar. But one mode is allowed and the other prohibited. Could I sneak in and 'grab'
shots with my FS100. Sure, I've done it before. But I shouldn't have too, and if the
footage I shot were ever to show up on a DVD I was selling, they could legally come
after me. Would they? Not sure, but former Dolphin Larry Csonka who now has a fishing
show got busted for doing exactly that here in Alaska....see the following link

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2414238

Now in his case, he probably had a large enough crew that he should have got a permit.
So they were looking to make an example of him. But technically, the law applies equally
to a single person, even filming handheld with no tripod, if they are doing it for any type of
commercial purpose. But if you are a stills shooter, you can do it legally as long as you
keep your footprint small. Time to start a march on D.C. for equal rights for video
shooters.

Woody Sanford
06-27-2013, 02:56 PM
I’m sure I’ll be the odd man out here but I don’t totally disagree with the permits for park land. I do totally agree that it is unfair and needs to be changed as to what photographers can do in difference to videographers and that the requirements on video are too strict but I do see some value in the system.

I’ve spent most of my life in Alaska, in the interior and I worked in the hunting industry for many years and that is how I came to video. The problem I see with video/photography is the same as with hunting in AK. Once something becomes seen as an easy opportunity, it gets exploited and by many. There is a reason you can’t go to the bathroom anywhere you want while climbing Mt. McKinley, everyone winds up climbing a trail of crap. Same thing with the Haul Road; I used to spend six weeks a year at least on the north slope in the brooks range and every pull off is twenty yards deep of human feces surrounding them. I worked a lot with AK F&G on hunter management and it’s a mess dealing with these issues.

Five years ago I moved to North Carolina and the issues are no different here. In fact they may be worse in some places. The size of the human footprint can be huge at times. Nowadays as soon as something gets popular and hits the internet you will have many exploiting whatever it is and that is what causes the problem. Parks can’t wait till they can see damage to start charging for traffic or no one shows up after that.

Hunters and fishermen/women are charged license fees for wildlife management and consumptive use even in places where non-consumptive use has as large of an impact. That’s the same as Video guys putting up the bill for photographers in the parks and there is a lot that needs to be changed as to whom is paying the way for all here but we do need some sort of system in the works.

Csonka was warned/asked to get a permit, he failed to comply.

paulears
06-27-2013, 03:59 PM
I'm sorry guys, but I have to ask - Isn't America the land of the free? We think it's bad in the UK, but pretty well here public is fine, and only private a problem. Permit wise, it usually is down to the possibility of causing obstructions that means some cities demand a permit, while others don't.

There are of course dogsbodies who object to shooting in public spaces, as if it is like America where you can't, but it's pretty civilised here really..

Andrius Simutis
06-27-2013, 04:55 PM
I'm sorry guys, but I have to ask - Isn't America the land of the free?

This thread makes it sound much worse than it really is. Mostly it's just common sense and only impacts shoots with a crew. I shot for months on the street with a TV host and never got hassled by the cops or asked for a permit whether we were on the sidewalk, a park, or private property. We were a small group, one camera, sometimes a sound guy, producer, and host. In fact, I've never been asked for a permit when shooting anything without lights and full crew (where we already had permits taken care of). I have been asked what I'm shooting, a lot, but that's usually more curiosity than enforcement.

Mark Williams
06-27-2013, 08:18 PM
This thread makes it sound much worse than it really is. Mostly it's just common sense and only impacts shoots with a crew. I shot for months on the street with a TV host and never got hassled by the cops or asked for a permit whether we were on the sidewalk, a park, or private property. We were a small group, one camera, sometimes a sound guy, producer, and host. In fact, I've never been asked for a permit when shooting anything without lights and full crew (where we already had permits taken care of). I have been asked what I'm shooting, a lot, but that's usually more curiosity than enforcement.

Sorry I will have to disagree. It is a serious problem for folks who do a lot of shooting on federal managed public lands . If you have the time here is a link to 233 comments since 2008 that describe both concerns, personal experiences and attempts at corrective legislation. http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/under-water-over-land/116938-national-park-filming-legislation.html

Andrius Simutis
06-27-2013, 10:35 PM
Sorry I will have to disagree. It is a serious problem for folks who do a lot of shooting on federal managed public lands .
True, I guess I don't shoot enough on managed public lands. Most of the time that I am we're either on or near a ski area so we don't run into too many rangers. Deeper in the backcountry I'm not running into them either, so maybe I'm just lucky.
As far as the rest of the conversation where we're talking about shooting outside the parks, some people make it sound like its impossible to just go out and use a camera at all which is just nonsense. If you're shooting a commercial job with a full crew then just pull a permit!

Osslund
06-28-2013, 03:03 AM
I shoot until someone stop me. As long as I'm on public ground it's not much anyone can do to prohibit me. A bit of common sense is always good. I were shooting for the Swedish railway in Stockholm Central station and it all went fine until I went to the lounge entry. Right away a guard came out and said I blocked the exit despite the fact I didn't. Some people are just told to stop people without thinking.

Sweden is easy to shoot in. Once I had a nervous producer asking for permission shooting in the middle of nowhere and certainly it's better to have permission than not but hardly ever needed except for bigger shoots with a larger crew. Sometimes it's even fun to test how far one can go. I were shooting the Swedish Rally and had to grab some pit stop video. I went in and got what I needed and heard after that no one else but the crew could go within ten meters of the car. I even rigged a crane right on the sidewalk and got away with it.

If you work on like you have all the rights in the world hardly anyone stops you. You look to serious.